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Thursday, April 2, 2009

You've been Eric-ed! or Woe to you in improper lab attire

I informed my Teaching Assistants before spring break that when students return in April and the weather is warm, many will arrive to lab in sandals and shorts.  Uh oh! Any savvy lab person knows that is completely against the rules!  I told the TAs to point them out the door and send them home to change. I also jokingly said "Or, make them wear boxes on their feet!" Wink

Well TA Eric took this to heart.  Yesterday a few students showed up in improper attire.  He made one wear HIS shoes.  He took my deck shoes from the prep room and put them on himself (I think I will stock pink ones with flowers on them now just for entertainment value). He made one student wear boxes on their feet over their sandals, and the person in shorts was forced to wear a labcoat as a skirt!

Nothing like a little humiliation to drive the point home! And Eric said he wanted to be a verb, too.  Soooo, if you show up without your shoes and he forces some silly but safe requirement on you, we will now say "You've been Eric-ed!".

bioefridge.jpgBTW, Eric is responsible for this on the top of my beer cooler style fridge in the lab.  I was not pleased that the company I ordered the fridge from had their name up top.  They didn't pay me to advertise for them. I asked students to create an image.  It was to be a contest but Eric was the only contestant, apparently after destroying all other entries, he claims. Now you know who you are dealing with....

The foil on the glass doors blocks the fluorescent lights which create toxic by products in our cell growing media, in case you are wondering...

I don't care if it is 97o outside!  Bring proper lab shoes, please!

Kindly, Joanne

Thu, April 2, 2009 | link 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I really was at Disney World last week


Here I am with a fellow chaperone (such a wonderful lady!) and one and a half of my three very well behaved charges. This was at the final ceremony held at the Hollywood Studios park (formerly MGM) where our prizes were distributed for our band competition.  This is me, happy with sun and warm weather and hardly any sleep for a week!

Guess my favorite park!  Did you guess Epcot?  Science, innovation, travel.  Yeah, that's the place! And Soarin'--oh, so fun!

I was hoping to film today, but my voice is not cooperating thanks to being quite run down from that crazy week!

I keep thinking about science TV.  I watched some last night while in my misery from a head cold.  I am continually reminded of this interesting feel to these shows that try to invoke a sense of fear or anxiety when discussing scientific issues. (When will the next earthquake strike? Will the dog bite?) You can hear it in the narrator's voice, the choice of words, the music, the editing of the scientists' comments.  I guess fear = serious in TV land. I don't agree, of course.  Our other option for science TV seems to be "goofy" which works sometimes. Mythbusters comes closest to striking a balance between serious, fun and showing how engineers attack a problem.

I'm reposting now a study done about French science television that discusses "What kind of science TV viewer are you?"  Enjoy!

Friday, June 13, 2008

What kind of science TV viewer are you?

I found an interesting article a couple of weeks ago called "Science on TV: forms and reception of science programmes on French television" by Suzanne de Cheveigné and Eliséo Véron in the journal Public Understanding of Science (vol 5 (1996) pp.231-253).  Science programs, of course, are BIG here in the US and in the UK and less so in France (they hardly have any TV channels to watch--even fewer in 1996!) Regardless, these researchers were able to conduct interviews and categorize reactions that the general public had to watching science programs.

  Overall, the reactions depended upon two factors:
1) "the legitimacy accorded to television as a source of knowledge;
2) the type of memories left by their school experience"

From these two, they were able to schematically plot four main readings:

click here to continue reading

Until next time...

Kindly, Joanne

Wed, April 1, 2009 | link 

Monday, March 30, 2009

What a week!

I am completely exhausted after a fun but intense week of chaperoning the middle school band down in Orlando for Festival Disney music competition! We did quite well!

Before I left, two things happened:

First, I was featured on the front page of the living section for our local paper, The News Gazette.  You can read it here.  I think they did a good job with it and I am grateful.

Second, I created a video recommending two books, Bad Science by Ben Goldacre and Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics by Sherry Seethaler.  I didn't get the chance to post it on my website because I had so little time at a computer during the trip. You can see it featured up top of this page for a while.

My video reviews are also appearing on Seed Magazine's ScienceBlogs Book Club.  You can see my first one here

Hannah Holmes (The Well Dressed Ape) sent me a link to a Nature news article called Science Journalism: Supplanting the Old Media? The article and the subsequent comments are interesting.

I finished reading Mean and Lowly Things by Kate Jackson on the bus down to Disney and will review that as soon as I catch my breath.  I am currently reading Doubt is Their Product by David Michaels--very good!!

Until next time,

Kindly, Joanne

Mon, March 30, 2009 | link 

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